Thursday, January 18, 2007

Iraq Slogger profiled by N.Y. Observer

The recently-formed Iraq Slogger has become, in fact, the "go-to source" for all things newsworthy about Iraq. This profile in New York Observer treats Eason Jordan and his new baby with courtesy and muted respect. Good read.

In the clash between media culture and media counterculture, Mr. Jordan suddenly looked like Patty Hearst. His 23-year CNN career was over; his 18-year marriage ended in divorce. After a lifetime in Georgia, he relocated to New York, to a roomy loft in Soho—with maps of Baghdad, Mosul and Tikrit on the wall inside the entrance.

And he was blogging. When a Reporters Without Borders representative said it was “idiotic” to blame sectarian violence on the media, Mr. Jordan wrote that the spokesperson was “dead wrong,” and that some Iraqi outlets “explicitly incite violence.”

IraqSlogger combines media analysis with original reporting, drawing on a small team of reporters in the U.S. and a network of Iraqi sources.

“It was clear from my own time in Iraq—and I’ve been there 16 times—that while there’s no shortage of people with guns, there is a shortage of information that is reliable and timely,” Mr. Jordan said.

The tug-o-war between the so-called left and right bloggers is encapsulated in the Jordan/Malkin tiff. A denouement remains to be seen, but in the meantime Iraq Slogger is getting well-established. As someone eager to keep up with events in Iraq, I find Slogger to be much easier to digest than the truly excellent but more-than-I-needed-to-know Today in Iraq. (In future years, theirs will be an absolute treasure trove for historians piecing together the chaotic events of the last few years.)

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